View Full Version : Medicine

November 9th, 2010, 07:01 AM
Andrew Ross was sick. Why was he sick? He couldn’t say. His wife, though, knew exactly the reason.

“You haven’t taken your medicine,” she told him.

He was bewildered. “What medicine?” he asked.

“Your vitamins,” she said, and shook a freshly purchased bottle of vitamins to show him just what kind of vitamins she meant.

“But Debra,” he said, for his wife’s name was Debra, “I don’t need vitamins. I eat healthy enough.” It was true. He ate well-cooked meats, fish and oats. He ate fruits and vegetables taken from his own garden, a fact that swelled him with enormous pride. While rebutting his wife’s offense, he coughed.

“Then it’s the garden,” his wife said with the greatest authority—she could not be
dissuaded from this sudden truth.

“No!” he said. Again he coughed.

“Your food is poisoning you.”

“Then why aren’t you sick?” he asked.

With her nose raised haughtily, arrogantly, but as well with the greatest love, she said to him: “I take my vitamins.”

They called a specialist to inspect the garden. The specialist arrived, ran all the necessary tests, and sat down to counsel them.

“Your garden is fine,” he conferred. They paid him an exuberant sum and thanked him
for his hard work.

“He doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” said Andrew Ross’ wife. She stood by the window and watched the specialist depart.

“How do you know?” Andrew asked.

“His car is cheap.”


“Any specialist who knows what he’s talking about would be paid better, and would drive a nicer car.” The curtain that she had been holding aside to better her view of the specialist fell in place as her hand retreated. “This one drives a cheap car. He can’t be trusted.”

“Maybe he doesn’t want to spend his money on an expensive car?”

But his wife did not think it true. “We’ll call a doctor.”

The doctor admitted them an hour and fifteen minutes after the appointment time. He was a young man who smiled widely and intelligently at the elderly couple.

“So what seems to be the problem, Mr. Ross?”

“The food from his garden is poisoning him,” said Debra.

The doctor raised an eyebrow and puckered his lips. “This true?”

“No,” said Andrew. “At least I don’t think so.”

“Tell me where it hurts.”

Andrew explained to him his symptoms: the tightness in his chest, the shortness of breath, the general lack of energy he had experienced in the last few days.

“Well,” said the doctor, “it doesn’t sound like food poisoning, at least.”

“What kind of car do you drive?”

“Excuse me?”

“I’m curious.”

The doctor smiled his intelligent smile. “A Lexus.”

Andrew Ross’ wife remained silent the rest of the interview.

When they returned home nothing was resolved. Andrew Ross would undergo tests in the following weeks. He was referred to one specialist who referred him to another who again referred him to another, until he was back again at the original doctor, who looked over his paperwork.

“I see,” said the young man. “Interesting.”

“What’s wrong with me?”

The young doctor’s face turned dark. “Mr. Ross,” he began. “I need you to be honest with me: what medicines do you take?”

Though this question had already been asked in their first interview, Andrew told him again: “I don’t take any medicine.”

The doctor pinched the flesh between his brows. “You will have to excuse my frankness, but I must say that it’s impossible for me to imagine someone your age not on at least one form of medication. I believe you have been withholding information.” After a pause in which he looked at the husband and then the wife, the young doctor said: “have you been taking any enhancement medication?”


“No,” said Andrew Ross’ wife.

“Interesting.” The doctor examined more of the paperwork. “I want you to try This Drug, This Other Drug, as well as This New Drug Gaining Good Results Thus Far, and tell me what you think.”

“But I don’t want to take any medication,” argued Andrew Ross.

“Don’t be obstinate,” said the doctor. “This is for your health.”

“But I eat healthy. I walk every day. Even with this sickness I—”

“Mr. Ross, please,” said the young man. “I’m a specialist.”

So he took the prescribed medication. At first he felt nothing. Then, he felt tired, more so than he had when suffering from his illness, and then irritable, constipated, and foul. His wife demanded he go to the doctor again.

“No,” he said, and went to bed. In the morning when his wife came to wake him he did not stir, and when the cops and ambulance arrived he was confirmed deceased.

At his funeral many wept—Andrew Ross came from a wonderfully varied background, and all sorts of people arrived. Kind words were said, condolences offered to Debra Ross, and a long and melodious speech offered in his memory. He died peacefully and in good health and in perfectly warm esteem. It was agreed, though, among the men and women who spoke together in whispers, that he likely would have lived longer had he taken his medicine.

November 9th, 2010, 04:45 PM
I enjoyed the read. However as I read along, it expressed like you were telling us a joke, especially when each specialist was asked what kind of car they drove. I thought that the cars had great bearing on the story. It became like a progression of happenings. I was expecting a punch line involving a car, and that the prime authority would end up being the coroner who drove a hearse. If the idea is that you are just trying to make an point with your story, then it works. I do feel that you quickly wrapped everything up at the end of the story, saying a few little surface things about him, what people said, what they whispered, his varied background. etc. Those things should be elaborated within in your story. The little details help make the characters and story interesting and complete.

Tell me, Do you work for that multi ka jillion dollar $$$ pharmaceutical company that always advertises on tv? :wink: Take this if you have the sniffles- and then the diclaimer says in a very cheery voice- but be aware that it may cause insanity, erectile dysfunction, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, or even death. ( this is a real peeve of mine)

November 10th, 2010, 12:40 AM
Haha, no, I'm just a college student who gets bored during lectures and decides to make up for it by writing short stories in my "notebook," that I type up on my laptop when I get home.

As for dropping the car reference: I wrote this mainly to entertain myself during school, and thus the light-hearted jokey tone that I used throughout the piece. The "specialists," car references, medicine, etc., were all just little things that I found entertaining and so decided to include. When I typed it up at home I thought the piece was short and sweet enough that some others might enjoy it, and so decided to post it. I was just poking fun at random things that popped into my head without having any real destination for the overall story.

BUT, that said, I appreciate you taking the time comment and offer your thoughts. Thanks a bunch!